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Full text of "My country and my people"

LITERARY    LIFE                            243
suspect even he is capable of such feelings, because after all he is a Chinese. As a Chinese, he knows how much life is worth, and at midnight, gazing through his window at the stars, the lines he learned at childhood come back to him:
I was drunk, half asleep, through the whole livelong day. Hearing spring'd soon be gone,xl hurried on my way. In a bamboo courtyard I chatted with a monk, And so leisurely passed one more half-day away.
To him, it is a prayer.
The second type is best represented by Tu Fu, with his quiet humour, his restraint, his tenderness toward the poor and oppressed, and his unconcealed hatred of war.
Well it is, too, that the Chinese have poets like Tu Fu and Fo Chiiyi, who portray our sorrows in beauty and beget in us a sense of compassion for mankind. Tu Fu lived in times of political chaos and banditry and soldiery and famine like our own, and wrote:
Meats and wines are rotting in the mansions, And human bones are rotting outside their doors.
A similar note was struck in the Song of the Mulberry Maiden by Hsieh Fangteh:
When cuckoos cried fourth watch in the dead of the night, Then I rose, lest the worms, short of leaves, hunger might. Who'd think that those dames weren't yet through with
their dance? The pale moon shone through willows o'er their windows
bright.
Note the peculiarly Chinese ending, where instead of driving home a socialistic thought, the poet contents himself with drawing a picture. Even then, this poem is a little too rebellious for the average Chinese poetry. The usual note is one of sadness and resignation, as in so many of Tu Fu's poems, describing